ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture plans to spray about 1,500 acres of land in the Twin Cities next week to eradicate gypsy moth infestations.

The infestations were detected last fall in Hennepin, Anoka and Washington counties.

Last year, the state Agriculture Department’s gypsy moth monitoring program detected three infestations of the destructive tree pest. The treatments include a 136-acre section in Minnetonka, Eden Prairie and Edina; a 539-acre area in Coon Rapids and Andover; and an 844-acre block in the city of Grant.

Officials plan two aerial applications of a bacterium over the same area, spaced seven to 10 days apart. The bacterium has a low risk for humans or animals other than caterpillars.

The exact date of the treatments will be determined by weather conditions and caterpillar development.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)